Interpol: Organized gangs threaten cyberspace

Organized international criminal gangs are reportedly responsible for orchestrating the majority of Internet scams.

According to Interpol president Khoo Boon Hui, cyber crime’s current estimated cost is more than that of cocaine, heroin and marijuana trafficking put together.

“80 percent of crime committed online is now connected to organized gangs operating across borders. Criminal gangs now find that transnational and cyber crime are far more rewarding and profitable than other, riskier forms of making money,” Hui told delegates attending Interpol’s European Regional Conference in Tel Aviv.  

“Experts have warned that the cost of cyber crime is larger than the combined costs of cocaine, marijuana and heroin trafficking. In Europe, the cost of cybercrime has apparently reached 750 billion euros ($979 billion) a year.”

Hui also noted that US banks may have lost $900 million (690 million euros) to conventional robberies in 2011, but forfeited some $12 billion (9.2 billion euros) to cyber criminals.

 Finally, Hui warned that cyber attacks posed a danger to global security, confirming that over 1,000 cyber attacks take place in Israel every minute.

Indeed, as TG Daily previously reported, foreign hackers managed down a number of Israeli sites in January 2012, including those administered by the Sheba Medical Center, the Assouta medical facility and the Israeli daily Ha’aretz.

Pro-Palestinian hackers (Anonymous Palestine) claimed responsibility for the attack against the Ha’aretz Hebrew site, which was knocked offline in a coordinated distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

The hackers pledged to continue targeting Israeli websites, and later managed to down another newspaper (Hayom) along with the Israel Festival homepage. 

It should be noted that various forms of cyber warfare have been waged by civilians in the Middle East for a number of years – and can be traced back to the early days of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) when rival parties battled each other with channel takeovers, scripts, automated bots and flooding attacks.